Fitch Affirm Sterling's BBB+ Rating

Fitch has affirmed Sterling Insurance Co Ltd's (SICL) and Sterling Life Ltd's (SLL) Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings at 'BBB+' with a stable outlook. The companies are the underwriting members of the UK-based Sterling Insurance Group Limited (Sterling).

The affirmation reflects Fitch's expectation that the capital position of Sterling remain stable and supportive of the ratings and reflects strong profitability in 2011, driven by continuous improvement in its underwriting performance.

 John Blundell MD for Sterling Insurance Group commented

"The positive rating factors for Sterling are our continued capital strength, improved profitability and the growth in our administration business.  Fitch also saw our strong reputation in the distribution market as a positive.  This outlook is pleasing and is a vindication of our strategy; to provide market leading client and customer service in our chosen markets."

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